In addition to my love for travel, one of my other favorite things to do is to lose myself in a good book. So when I’m preparing for my next trip, I’m not only thinking about what I want to see when I’m there and what I’m going to pack, but which book(s) I’m going to read before I get there! Before I left for my honeymoon in Spain this past spring, I read Cervantes’ famous book, Don Quixote, and loaded Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra onto my Kindle app for the plane ride. Meanwhile, my husband’s Spain book collection has a historical bent – from The Battle for Spain, chronicling the country’s devastating civil war, to Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, set during the same time period. Books have a way of transporting you to your destination before your plane even lands, but they can also teach you a lot about the history and culture of the place you’re visiting.
So I've decided to start a new blog category - the books to read before your next trip. And with so many of our clients headed to Europe this summer, I've started with one of the continent's most iconic cities: Paris, France.
Not big on reading? No worries. I’ve recommended a movie, too!
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. Whether you’re a fan of his distinct writing style or not, you have to admit that the man was a world traveler. He lived in and wrote about many different places across the globe. This memoir chronicles his time living as an expat in France.
My Life in France by Julia Child. Daily life in Paris often revolves around food, and who better to discuss the subject than Julia Child? Her cookbooks are famous, but this book tells the story of how she arrived in the country and developed her mastery of cooking.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” The book’s first line is one of the most well known in literary history. The story is set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution.
Movie: The Intouchables. Most people will tell you to watch Amelie, and that’s also a solid choice. But the incredible soundtrack and story in “The Intouchables” gives you a glimpse into modern-day Paris through the eyes of an unusual friendship between a well-to-do quadriplegic man and his personal caregiver from a rougher part of the city.
Have you read any good books about Paris? I'd love to hear your suggestions, too! No Paris trip in your future? Read one of the books above, then call me to book a trip, because you'll definitely want to go, then!